Is Premarital Counseling Necessary?
Updated September 04, 2018
Have you and your fiancé(e) been considering premarital counseling or wonder what the benefits of it are and if it's necessary for a lasting marriage? If so, this article will answer those questions and provide you with a valuable premarital counseling resource.
When it comes to having a marriage that stands the test of time, it takes dedication and respect for your partner that supersedes the conflicts and differences that can arise throughout your life together. And while there's nothing that can guarantee a marriage will last, premarital counseling can go a long way towards creating the conditions for a truly happy marriage.
Premarital counseling comes in many forms (online, in groups, through a religious institution, etc.) and provides engaged couples with the opportunity to prepare for marriage by discussing topics that will be a significant part of your future life together and/or that may be potential causes for marital stress as the marriage progresses. These topics can include finances, raising children, intimacy, values and beliefs, future goals and aspirations, different opinions and how you'll compromise on them, living arrangements and moving, marriage role expectations and more.
However, premarital counseling provides more than just topics to discuss. While discussing these topics, you and your partner will also learn how to respectfully talk about them without the conversation leading to fighting and hurt feelings-plus how to successfully resolve conflicts when they inevitably happen. It will act as a safe space to reveal thoughts and feelings you may otherwise have been keeping to yourself for fear of "rocking the boat" or causing unnecessary stress on your relationship.
If you and your partner decide to partake in premarital counseling you can expect the following benefits:
- A better understanding of your and your partner's hopes for your marriage and life together
- Improved communication and conflict management skills to help keep issues from escalating into serious marital problems
- Awareness of differences that may require compromise and a chance to lay the groundwork for those compromises before you're married
- Outside examples of successful marriages and what it takes to maintain one
- Stronger bond and increased trust with your partner
- Reduced risk of divorce (according to a 2006 study, couples who had premarital counseling were 31% less likely to divorce)
- A greater awareness of the areas of your relationship that are already very strong and others that may need some more work
At the end of the day, premarital counseling isn't necessary for a happy, lasting marriage. Couples who decide to forego it can still go on to have a fulfilled married life and couples who participate in it can still end up divorced. However, there's no denying that it offers many benefits to couples in terms of ensuring they're fully prepared to make a lifelong commitment to each other.
If you're on the fence and would like to know a little bit more about premarital counseling or would like to find a reputable counselor to work with, an online site like Betterhelp.com can pair you with a licensed professional counselor for convenient and private counseling.